Ian's list

Top picks from the web on money and your life, from ING economist Ian Bright – October 24, 2016

The latte factor

The latte factor

Many of us have been told again and again that if we give up our daily morning latte we’ll save a six-month emergency fund. But this article points out the numbers simply don’t add up. It says that those who claim this that simply don’t realise it’s fixed costs (housing, healthcare and education) that drive most to financial trouble.

Peer pressure

Peer pressure

Research shows that peer pressure can spark competition and change behaviour even if the competitor is a bot. Even in a simulated environment, people performed better if they saw a virtual peer outperform them. Those who saw the virtual peer underperform did worst. This suggests fake competition can be just as motivating.

Who knows you?

Who knows you?

An algorithm can better predict what your spouse will find funny than you can, according to this article. Is this more evidence that machines make better judgements than humans? And it adds to other research suggesting that even for financial matters advice may be increasingly delivered by machines, maybe even by mobile phone.

Ian Bright
Ian Bright

Senior economist at ING
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